As we begin this New Year with lots of hopes, promises and some resolutions at the forefront of our minds, I thought that this edited excerpt from my #1 National Bestseller, “Get Over It! How to Bounce Back after Hitting Rock Bottom,” was very appropriate to share as my first blog post of 2016.
G= Getting Over Yourself
We often spend a ridiculous amount of time complaining about things that have happened in our past that we simply won’t let go, and it impacts how we approach our future choices. We think and talk about what “shoulda, coulda, woulda been” but the fact is that it “simply wasn’t.” Letting go and healing ourselves is one of the most challenging tasks that we can conquer, but you have to do this to get over yourself. If you don’t, you become so self-absorbed and wallowing in your pain that you can’t truly feel for others because what you feel for them will be based upon what you feel for yourself at any given moment.
You see, getting over yourself means that you have to be able to get through to yourself…clean out your internal emotional closet and just let stuff go. Make room for the good life and good times. Don’t borrow worries. Getting over yourself means not wallowing in self- pity over the things that happened in your past…regardless of whether it was your fault or not…letting it go gives you the power to get over it.
Everybody has problems, and you shouldn’t feel special because you know that you have problems too…you’re not…At least, you’re not special for that reason. You need to stop believing that your issues make you special and therefore, you don’t have to try to improve your state of mind and your state of being. You can’t love hard and be hard if you can’t get over yourself hard first.
I understand this firsthand because my life did not begin as it is now. In the early years, there was an abundance of hurt and pain, and I was twelve the first time I tried to commit suicide. It was right after I had been beaten with belts and broomsticks by Ma (my mother) and Mr. James (her boyfriend) in the back storage room of the liquor store they owned and operated. Why was I beaten? Because I went to the library after school with my friends but Ma didn’t believe me…she thought I was lying and sneaking around with boys. I didn’t even know how to sneak around at that point! So she beat me and tried to beat me some more in hopes of getting a confession out of me. And then she had Mr. James come into that back room and beat me…I had lumps on my legs from the broomsticks and jumping over the boxes in the storage room and falling to the floor. This time, it felt like it was “one beating too many.” When I was finally released and allowed to go home, I just wanted to be “free.” I needed to feel numb because it was one thing to be beaten when you are dead wrong but quite another to receive such a brutal beating when you have done nothing wrong. I knew that if I could go to live in a “better place” then God would take care of me.
That afternoon I took 13 Tylenol pills along with a couple of drinks from Ma’s vodka bottle that she kept hidden under the cushion of the couch that she slept on. I remember falling asleep on that couch shortly after taking the pills but awakening to the sound of the phone ringing persistently. It was one of those old rotary phones, and it was in the hallway of the apartment so we kept the ringer up loud so we could hear it from all rooms.
Rinnggggg….rinnnggggg…rinnnggggg…. the shrilling sound was pulsating in my ears, and I was awakened…I got up to answer the phone, and it was Ma, and then I realized “Damn, I am still alive.”
During this time in my life, I barely existed. I got up, and I functioned with a smile on my face so no one could see the pain within. I knew it didn’t feel right but these were my own demons, and no one else had to know about them…
I still wear masks to this very day to Go Hard. I keep many of my feelings inside…never wearing them on my shoulders and not wanting to be the poster child for pain. It’s not that I don’t deal with my feelings, I just find it unnecessary to wear those feelings on my shoulders with folks who really don’t care, and I learned how to “play the game.” Smiling on the outside but I may be trembling with fear and anguish on the inside.
A friend of mine once described me as a “dichotomous duplicity.” He explained that it’s almost like I have a dual personality…you may know one side of me and know that side for many years but there is another side that if you really paid attention, you may get a glimpse of it. This is the side of me that only the selected people in my square are allowed to see. Not dwelling on tragedy, hurt and pain of the past allows me to control my feelings, to “Get Over Me” and to “Go Hard. If I were to spend my time and energy focusing on all of the negative things and negative people in my life, then the chances are that I would become a negative person. Negative people cannot “Go Hard” because they spend too much time “going negative.”
You have to find what will allow you to “Get Over It” in your life. You have to “dig deep” in search of what will prepare you for prosperity and equip you to empower. I learned long ago that I needed to lean on my triple shields of Grace, Faith, and Mercy to find the strength I needed to get over myself and move forward. I learned that I could not depend on my past to determine my future. Instead, I needed to use the pain of my past to push towards my life purpose any my true passion.
I know that life can hurt. But I also know that you have to trust and believe. You need to know that you may have been bent, but you were not broken. You may have been damaged, but not destroyed and you have always been positioned to follow along the path that God has prepared you for.
So as you begin this New Year with promises and resolutions, know that you must first change the way you think before you can change the way you behave. That is where your true strength will emerge and prosper. I learned this lesson as a twelve-year-old girl who had given up on life because I hurt so much. I learned that God had a different plan for me when he allowed me to awaken after mixing alcohol and pills. And I learned that if I could find and embrace anything positive in my life, then that would be my starting point for change. It would be the first step to “getting over myself.” If I could learn this at only twelve years old, then certainly you are perfect for these lessons as a “seasoned” adult. This is what you should be thinking about right now…Changing the way you think, so you can change the way you behave. It’s really all about your mindset. Mind over matter…As much as you mind, will be as much as it will matter. And if you don’t mind, then it won’t matter….It’s all in your perspective.
Do you really want to “Get Over It?” Well it all starts with “Getting Over Yourself.”
Lesson: You must first “Get Over Yourself” before you can “Get Over It.”
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